TJ Guzzardi is a Melbourne based sign writer and long time Ambassador for Uppercut Deluxe.
We recently caught up with TJ to see how he has been keeping himself busy.
So, TJ, what have you been up to lately? COVID has rocked the Melbourne hard, how did you fair?
Man, this has been a pretty hard year – but hey my family has their health so things could be worse.
I’ve got a work permit so I’ve been able to do a few jobs here and there but nothing like what I’m normally doing. But on the other hand it’s kinda been cool to be able to spend so much time with the kids and hang out with my family. The kids are going a bit stir crazy, I’m looking forward to being able to get out of the house!!
That’s super heavy!! What's the first thing you're going to do when you get out of lockdown?
Oh man, there's so many things I need to do. First, I need to get a haircut, I didn’t get in to see my barber when we were allowed out the first time round and now my hair is out of control.
After that, I just want to go get a cold beer at a pub and take the family for a cruise and go and see some friends.
Sounds like a good plan. What are you riding in at the moment?
I was born into a hotrod and car family. My dad was always working on a new car, he'd have something different every week haha.
I’ve actually got like 6 cars at the moment, the daily is a 1956 Chev Wagon and then I’ve got some an old Holden WB ute and a few things that are just projects, so nothing too special yet.
So the car thing runs in the family?
Yea definitely. I was always hanging out at Dad’s shop and trying to help him out where I could. That’s where I actually got into painting.
Oh no way, that’s pretty cool.
Yea I mean I’ve always been into art and the old school scene. Then I learnt to pin stripe when I was about 15. Since I was always at the shop, a few of Dad’s customers saw my work and started asking me to paint their cars. I probably bit of more than I could chew and had to learn how to do lettering and some different styles quickly.
Pretty soon after that I kinda found my groove and developed my own style. All of a sudden I started getting contacted for a tonne of different jobs and was able to buy myself a factory. It’s been a bit up and down and got scary at times but I’ve been doing it for over 11 years now and wouldn’t change anything even if I could. I’ve been lucky enough to see my kids grow up and still been able to do something I love.
That’s epic – would you let your kids get into it?
Yea for sure! Since they’ve been at home through COVID they have actually been helping me out tonnes. I get them to do all the dirty work - they are my apprentices haha But yea they come in and give me a hand. The oldest loves painting and the youngest loves pulling stuff apart.
It’s super cool – they’ve got a real eye for it. I’ll ask them what colour, tone or shape I should use and they’ll come to me with some really cool ideas.
So rad. Once you’re out of lockdown, what’s next for 2020?
I’m looking forward to having a bit of a holiday. As soon as we can we’re going to head up to Port Macquarie and visit some family, get some fresh air. I can’t wait.
Sounds amazing. Well, we’ll leave you to get back to work! Thanks for the chat.